'The true Soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because He loves what is behind him.' -G. K. Chesterton

30 April 2010

He's Just A Dog

I don't know what to do.

Trooper is fading and I can't do anything to stop it. Thin, he's gotten so very thin. He pants heavily when he's not sleeping which is what he mostly does now. He's totally blind. He navigates by memory, which is also going so he gets lost easily both in the yard and in the house. He spends minutes both drinking and peeing. A lot of water passing through his system. His bowels gurgle a lot. I sit or lie on the floor next to him and rub his belly to quiet the rumblings and give him ease. His balance is off. He is lightly incontinent when he sleeps hard.

He still eats. I did have to restrict his treats. We're mostly down to just biscuits but he eats them. It gives me hope. For a minute. Then he lays down again and starts panting. His heart races and he acts like he's struggling to get enough oxygen. He takes his medicine, laying on the floor, his cloudy eyes unseeing but still Trooper's. I move him gently when we're done.

He tries, he tries so hard to be the dog he was but he can't. Not anymore. No matter how hard we both want him to be. Oh, for one more day in the field, romping and playing fetch. One more wrestling match on the living room floor. Barks and tugs and growls of delight and enticement. One more nap on the bed together.

My wife, daughter and I hugged each other and cried as we watched him panting, panting. Hoping but knowing.... Recognizing that we're witnessing the end days of his life. How much time does he have? Days, months?

Trooper was born on November 30, 1995. That makes him almost 14 1/2 years old. I held him in my hand when he was only 5 days old. He was meant for me and I was meant for him. Non dog people will not, can not understand. Dog people are only too aware of the passage of time.

For those who say he's just a dog I say No He Is Not. Trooper has been my constant companion for 14 years. We've never spent more than 2 weeks apart when I had to leave for training or a school. We travelled together. We hunted together. We learned and grew together. He's my pal. He's my dog and I'm his boy. That is out pact. I know that as surely as there is a God that Trooper loves me as I love him. He is my friend, my confessor, my constant companion.

Now he's passing, slowly but surely as a sunset, and I'm crying as I write this. We're going in to see the Vet tomorrow morning if his doctor is available. Monday if he's not. What will I hear? What can my breaking heart take? I'm afraid to take him. Afraid to go. I don't want to lose him.

I won't let Trooper suffer but I also won't end his life one second before I must. Call me selfish. A silly, selfish man. I cannot bear the thought of my empty house. My empty truck. My empty heart.

We're in hospice mode. I watch him carefully. It is my turn now. I am his guide. I take him gently by the collar and lead him to his needs. I sit on the floor with him, stroking his fur and head. Scratching his belly. Watching and listening. Fearful. Knowing. I leave the house only for errands I must perform or a trip to the gym where I try to blot out my fears and tears by driving my body beyond it's limits. I have animal friendly wipes I use to gently clean his fur. I stay near him always. He's calmer and happier when I'm close. That is all I have left to give to him and I will give it to the last.

My sleep is fitful. I stay up til the wee hours when I'm sure he's made his last trip outside for the night. I go to bed only when I must. My dreams are vivid and disturbing.

My grandchildren know what we've told them to try and prepare them for their first leaving. They know that Grandpa is sad and why. They are my sanity now and I thank God they are here.

What price love? Heavy. The price is so very heavy. It is the price of a broken heart. Sadness, denial and dismay. It is a price that nearly cannot be borne.

It is a price that must be paid. It cannot be set aside or passed on to another. It is my debt and I am surely paying it.

I write this now because surely I won't be able to after. Trooper deserves so much more. I was never the man I should have been but it wasn't his fault. He helped me become so much more of a man than I ever would have without him. How will I ever stand it? How can anyone?

I am a bottle in a sack, awaiting the drop of the hammer.


Tribute Car

On Christmas day in 2007, Constandina Tutten was told that her Warrior husband, 82nd Airborne Sgt. Joseph Tutten was killed in Tikrit, Iraq. After hearing the story, a member of Camaro5, an enthusiast group, got together with some of his friends and created the 2010 Camaro below as a tribute to fallen soldiers.

This is the link to more pictures. You can find the story here. It is a wonderful tribute done by a man who has seen the elephant.
To Spymaster. Good job soldier.

28 April 2010

New Site

'Cause Kanani asked me to and what Kanani wants, Kanani gets. Seriously, a great site, a great young American and great pictures. What's not to like? Go over to The Kitchen Dispatch and read for yourself then visit Logan's site and see for yourself.


Photography Class.

27 April 2010


Lu and the DO won't let me take a photo of theirs and I don't keep any titty photos where Lu can find them but I don't want to be left out of the Islamlove so this will just have to do.

I don't know about you but I'm feeling very motivated right now.


25 April 2010

Sunday Kipling

Heading out in just a few to pick up the loved ones but there's always time for Kipling.
This poem tickles me for some reason. Maybe it's the title....


"I Keep Six Honest...

"I keep six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.
I send them over land and sea,
I send them east and west;
But after they have worked for me,
I give them all a rest.

I let them rest from nine till five,
For I am busy then,
As well as breakfast, lunch, and tea,
For they are hungry men.
But different folk have different views.
I know a person small-
She keeps ten million serving-men,
Who get no rest at all!

She sends'em abroad on her own affairs,
From the second she opens her eyes-
One million Hows, two million Wheres,
And seven million Whys!

From The Elephant's Child

I'm staying home while Lu goes to the airport. Trooper has had a very bad morning and needs me to tend to him. These days he rarely gets too far from me but today he's glued to my side. He's fading. I can see it but am powerless to do anything about it.
I'm afraid.

24 April 2010


My daughter (The DO) and grandkids will be here tomorrrow! It's quite a trip. Hungary to Austria to London to San Francisco. She got 'em all up this AM at the crack of dawn, packed up and headed for the airport. All so they could spend time with Papa and Grandma. We've got the house all ready (including a new swingset in the backyard).

We got the package for a stay at Disneyland in the mail the other day. We also have plans for more trips and visits to various places. Good times will be had.

We're indebted to the DO for undertaking this journey. Anyone who has traveled with kids (4 and 5 years old) knows what she's taking on and this is the second time she's made the trip from Hungary. She's a peach and I love her dearly. Oh, and to the son-in-law? Thanks don't quite cover it. I'll take good care of them and get 'em back to you soon. Love you son.

Postings will be slim for the next 5 weeks while they're here. I'll check in from time to time but I'm going to revel in spending time with the 4 people I love most in this world. Wife, daughter and 2 grandchildren.

Do I sound excited? Good, because I am.

See you all soon.


22 April 2010

New Site

Just added a new blog to the Warrior Roll, Semperpapa. He also writes for David bellavia's blog. He's a man after my own heart. He loves motorcycles, Labs and freedom. We're of an age and a mindset. Stop by and give him some love.


21 April 2010


Ever since I removed the Jasmine from in front of the house we've been having problems with people, mostly those damn kids, cutting across our lawn. Our house is on a corner and we have quite a bit of foot traffic.

I've been searching for an answer. Fence? Chain from the house to the corner of the lot? Rottweiler on a chain that ends just shy of the sidewalk?

Nah. I got something better.


19 April 2010

Oklahoma City

A few years ago Lu and I bought a house in the tiny town of Wetumka, Oklahoma. It was going to be our retirement place. Later, we decided to settle in Utah and sold the Oklahoma house. While there for a visit and some renovation, Lu, I, The Sarge and Mom-In-Law went to Oklahoma City and visited The Memorial.

It was a bit surreal. My first visit to the site where a large number of people were murdered. Yes, Murdered. No other word will suffice. You could feel the spirit like a weight on your shoulders. I exchanged looks with The Sarge. No words were necessary. I knew he felt the same thing I did. Evil on a vast scale had been done here and the sensation was palpable. It is a quiet place, hushed. Even the children seem to sense that something of import took place here. There are no yells of recognition. No giggles. No laughter.

At the entrance is this sign.

At one end of the memorial is this. It is the time the bomb went off. 9:01 AM
And at the other end is this which memorializes when the destruction ended. 9:03 AM. In that time 168 Americans; men, women and children, were killed by evil.
There is a still, reflecting pond in between, on the spot where the Murrah Building stood.

These are the empty chairs. One in honor of each person who died in the building and outside.

The building across from the Murrah building was damaged in the blast.

It has never been repaired and now houses the Memorial Museum.

Outside you'll find a living memorial where visitors write and leave their own testimonials and prayers.

The setting is beautiful.

Even park like in that uniquely mid-western way that Americans living in the heartland know and understand.

The defenders are there yet. Waiting and watching and woe betide those who would seek to replicate this act of mindless violence and murder. Here or anywhere. For America is still America and her Warriors are more numerous than the stars in the sky. We will see you and we will destroy you and every trace of you from the face of the Earth.

If you ever find yourself in the area I strongly encourage you to visit this site. Like me and The Sarge, you will feel the weight, the sheer presence of The Memorial. You'll also see and feel the strength that is America. We can be hurt, we can be damaged, we can be killed but we cannot be destroyed. We will endure. No force, no attack and no person can undo what we are.
We are equal to Any challenge, Anywhere, Anytime. Terrorists and Tyrants alike have discovered this to their sorrow for more than 230 years. I believe this with every fiber of my being. With all my heart. All my soul. Visit this Memorial and you will too. We lose only when we surrender and I can assure you the people of Oklahoma City have not surrendered.
My thoughts and prayers go out to all Americans today but most especially to those directly touched by this heinous act. May the enemies of America, foreign and domestic, taste the ashes of defeat and ignominy.


The Totalitarian and the Donut

(bumped per the Six's request)
When I was in high school my social studies teachers taught the political spectrum thusly:
They followed this up with the idea that, though the spectrum was right in a philosophical way, both extremes tended towards violence and totalitarianism. Which meant that, though hard left and hard right were "opposites" they almost met at the extremes by the actions they were willing to take to gain their power. Like this:
That was all fine and dandy for me for a while. But I started to question this idea when the Nazi party came to topic. Cause, you know, Nazis are hard right. Right? I had been taught that in school for years. But the more I learned, the more I thought, the more I began to see the truth: if the Nazis were hard right then I was bright purple. Communists, you see, want Socialism to gain control over the whole world, whereas the Nazis and the Fascists wanted socialist control of just one nation at a time. International versus National.


But lets move on, shall we?

My problems progressed from there when I tried to figure out how one got from the idea of smaller government and personal responsibility to a totalitarian government bent on the subjugation of a nation. What my teachers were talking about didn't fit the entirety of the spectrum, because they were really only talking about the center, "normal", folks that fell on one side or the other of center.
On day it hit me, it wasn't a line at all!! It was a circle, but instead of the center being on the circle the center was in the middle!

Er... Let me explain.

A donut:

The "normal" folks are the donut hole:
We all know that donuts are bad for us. White flour, white sugar, transfats, it's enough to make you fat, give you diabetes, lead to a heart attack and kill you!

Oh, but it tastes so good! Only will power and the desire to do the right thing keeps us from eating our body weight in donuts. Or, maybe that's just me.


This donut hole is the visual representation of those that fall into what we mean when we talk about "right" and "left".

So, what happens when you start to move out of the donut hole?
(I don't know what Turtleism is, but I'm working on it. I'm thinking it'll be federal mandates that since speed is dangerous you can only move at 1/5th your normal speed and you can eat nothing but lettuce. Cause, you know, everything else is bad for you.)

All jesting aside, the point is that when you leave the center it doesn't matter which side of the donut hole you started on, you are heading towards the Totalitarian edge. Imagine eating the donut from the center out. A few bites at a time alarms a few, but not everyone. Soon the donut hole is simply bigger and no one can remember it being it's original size. As the next generation takes a few more bites from the center, again, a few are concerned but not everyone. Eventually the people themselves will allow a government to eat the entire donut, plunging their world into a totalitarian government one sweet bite at a time.

But how do we know where the original center is? If people can change it isn't it then an arbitrary line? For a government to work well, no, it must be a steady and well understood line. A line, where if someone takes a bite, there is an entire nation at the ready to call that person to task. We need some sort of written document to define the line...

The Constitution is our brick wall, it defines what is normal and what is not. The Constitution allows us to see those that are stealing our donut from us, one bite at a time. The Constitution is not a "living document", changeable at a whim, but a document of well defined limits and rules. Break them and suffer. The last 100 years has seen a redefining of the Constitution, a complete lack of willingness to abide by and protect it.

Shame on us.

Those currently in power believe that so long as they dole out bits of the donut to the people that they will be content. So long as they get their bit they will allow the lines to be redrawn.

We can no longer allow the donut to be eaten on our watch.

We can no longer allow others to change the game in blatant disregard to the law of our land, defined by our Constitution.

We must defend the Constitution.

We must defend the Donut!

-The DO

18 April 2010

Sunday Kipling

All things return in their time though I doubt the modern Englishman, or Kipling himself, would view the current ordering of Britain with hopeful eyes.
I dedicate this poem to my brothers and sisters in the Mother Country that they might recognize their peril before it consumes them. Before it consumes us all.


The Anvil

Norman Conquest, 1066

ENGLAND'S on the anvil--hear the hammers ring--
Clanging from the Severn to the Tyne!
Never was a blacksmith like our Norman King--
England's being hammered, hammered, hammered into line!

England's on the anvil! Heavy are the blows!
(But the work will be a marvel when it's done.)
Little bits of Kingdoms cannot stand against their foes.
England's being hammered hammered, hammered into one!

There shall be one people--it shall serve one Lord--
(Neither Priest nor Baron shall escape!)
It shall have one speech and law, soul and strength and sword.
England's being hammered, hammered, hammered into

17 April 2010

Jasmine Oh Jasmine

So it was time to do one of the honeydo's highest on my list of things I really, really did not want to do. Taking out the Jasmine vine out front. Why now?
'Cuz I don't want to end up like this guy.

This is what that mess looked like before I started. Each wing of the vine is 16 feet long and a little over 5 feet high. There are 3 main roots and, as anyone who has ever messed with these things knows, about a million little roots.

Started by pushing it over as far as it'd go because I'm a gorilla and that's what gorilla's do.
It's been up for 20 years or so and the 4x4's were rotted pretty badly. I pushed and pushed but surprise, surprise it completely failed to fall over and onto my trailer. It was pretty obvious some cutting was needed. Cue my double bitted axe because I broke my chain saw doing the fence. Yeah, I'm that guy.

Half down and ready to be dragged away. Yeah, that's my help laying on the lawn sunning themselves with the cooler nearby. Oh, turns out the vine was heavy. Really heavy. Like about 500 pounds of heavy. Oh, my aching 50 year old legs. That's about 2 hours of solid, backbreaking work. Well..... work for an old guy anyway.

Hey, I can see the street!
And the house.
One down and one to go. Luckily for me my timing worked out perfectly and Lu got home just in time to help out with half number 2. Tell me that isn't a frickin' mess.

Number 2 is gone and Lu poses next to her triumph. She finally got me to finish what I've been swearing I'd do for the last 15 years. Remember that bear in the procrastination poster? He's got nothing on Lu. Man, I need some window treatments now. Sigh.
For comparison. That trailer is 5 feet wide and 10 feet long. I'm 6 feet tall. That is a pile o' Jasmine. Unseen under that pile is about 1200 pounds of broken concrete and brick that used to be 2 benches (you can see one of them in the before photo). I'm thinking I'm gonna have to cough up a lung at the dump.
The After picture. Please ignore the partial glove on the left. I was lacking adult supervision at that moment. We can now see out and, even more importantly, it no longer looks like the entrance to the Brazillian Jungle Ride at Retarded Otto's Amusement Park. My neighbors will be so happy.

All this just so I can rent the place out and someone else will miss out on the joys of Jasmine pollen and Jasmine trimming.
Becoming a slum lord better be worth all this effort.

15 April 2010


Lu and I are heading out to the Monterey County Tea Party at Window on The Bay in Monterey. It's from 1630 to 1830. I anticipate a good turnout. I'll post pics later.



Lu and I got there about 1730. I estimate 350 to 400 people. It started at 1630 but some told me they were there as early as 1600. Everyone was well behaved and I saw no signs that were even remotely racist or violent.

I know I promised pictures but... In my defense I reminded Lu an hour before we left and then we both promptly forgot. I blame Trooper.

The cleverest sign was a pair of googly eyes over a stack of cash and a caption that read
"This is how much money you'd be saving if you voted them all out."
It was brilliant. I sure wish I had a picture of it.

All in all it was a fine event full of Patriotism and rugged individualism. I hope you all found one to attend and it went off as well as this one did.

13 April 2010

The Violent Left

From Gateway Pundit. A republican staffer and her boyfriend are attacked and seriously injured in an attack autside an SRLC dinner.

Yeah, it's the right who are violent.

Speaking of violence. Anytime one of you punks wants to beat up a conservative or Tea Party member just go ahead and look me up. I promise you'll get the chance to see how good that free socialised medicine is.


Priceless Stories

I've found another blog by a True Warrior, Old NFO at Nobody Asked Me. It's full of priceless stories from another one who has seen the elephant. I encourage everyone to visit and read, especially this. These stories cannot be bought for any amount of gold.

Old NFO has been added to the Warrior Roll and I'm damn grateful he's sharing with us.


11 April 2010

Sunday Kipling

I've been sick and bust all at the same time. Haven't had a chance to sit down and pound out some posts though I have tried to keep up with the news.
Of particular note is the passing of President Lech Kaczynski of Poland. Kaczynski was killed enroute to the Katyn Forest where 4000 Polish Army officers and cadets were killed in 1940 by the NKVD. He was deeply involved in the Solidarity movement though later had a falling out with Lech Walesa. He was a strong supporter of the U.S., at least he was prior to being stabbed in the back by obama. He forged close ties to Georgia and The Czech Republic and was a leading voice for their inclusion in NATO. He was also suspicious of the European Union and took steps to maintain Poland's independence, a source of irritation to Germany and France. Always a good thing.
Poland is a nation in mourning. From what i can tell Kaczynski was a good President and a voice of reason in an otherwise sinking and socialist Europe. I believe he will be missed a great deal.
In solidarity for our brothers and sisters in Poland I dedicate this week's Sunday Kipling and include a prayer that their country and people will find a way to endure this tragedy.

May God bless the Polish People.


The King

"Farewell, Romance!" the Cave-men said;
"With bone well carved He went away,
Flint arms the ignoble arrowhead,
And jasper tips the spear to-day.
Changed are the Gods of Hunt and Dance,
And He with these. Farewell, Romance!"

"Farewell, Romance!" the Lake-folk sighed;
"We lift the weight of flatling years;
The caverns of the mountain-side
Hold him who scorns our hutted piers.
Lost hills whereby we dare not dwell,
Guard ye his rest. Romance, farewell!"

"Farewell, Romance!" the Soldier spoke;
"By sleight of sword we may not win,
But scuffle 'mid uncleanly smoke
Of arquebus and culverin.
Honour is lost, and none may tell
Who paid good blows. Romance, farewell!"

"Farewell, Romance!" the Traders cried;
"Our keels have lain with every sea;
The dull-returning wind and tide
Heave up the wharf where we would be;
The known and noted breezes swell
Our trudging sails. Romance, farewell!"

"Good-bye, Romance!" the Skipper said;
"He vanished with the coal we burn.
Our dial marks full-steam ahead,
Our speed is timed to half a turn.
Sure as the ferried barge we ply
'Twixt port and port. Romance, good-bye!"

"Romance!" the season-tickets mourn,
"He never ran to catch His train,
But passed with coach and guard and horn --
And left the local -- late again!"
Confound Romance!... And all unseen
Romance brought up the nine-fifteen.

His hand was on the lever laid,
His oil-can soothed the worrying cranks,
His whistle waked the snowbound grade,
His fog-horn cut the reeking Banks;
By dock and deep and mine and mill
The Boy-god reckless laboured still!

Robed, crowned and throned, He wove His spell,
Where heart-blood beat or hearth-smoke curled,
With unconsidered miracle,
Hedged in a backward-gazing world;
Then taught His chosen bard to say:
"Our King was with us -- yesterday!"

04 April 2010

Sunday Kipling

A Happy Easter to all. I'm back in california and feeling better. A couple more trips with the trailer then a month with The DO and the grandkids and then the move in June.

I thought this poem was particularly appropos today. Take heart my friends, we will cleanse the wrong.



We thought we ranked above the chance of ill.
Others might fall, not we, for we were wise--
Merchants in freedom. So, of our free-will
We let our servants drug our strength with lies.
The pleasure and the poison had its way
On us as on the meanest, till we learned
That he who lies will steal, who steals will slay.
Neither God's judgment nor man's heart was turned.

Yet there remains His Mercy--to be sought
Through wrath and peril till we cleanse the wrong
By that last right which our forefathers claimed
When their Law failed them and its stewards were bought.
This is our cause. God help us, and make strong
Our will to meet Him later, unashamed!

02 April 2010

Name That Ammo

I was running low on Shooty ammo. Shooty ammo is the stuff I shoot as opposed to Duty ammo which I store for a rainy day. So I got online with Natchez and Cheaper Than Dirt and placed an order. FedEx dropped it all off in 2 shipments. I present it here for your approval and jealous contemplation.

Here's the challenge. Can you Name That Ammo? There's 5 calibers represented, 4 rifle and 1 pistol. 2 should be fairly obvious but the other 3 are harder.
The prize? My undying respect and the title of Ammunition Commander (with a h/t to Schlock Mercenary).
Oh, and I'm at the Utah house and sick as a dog at the moment. I hope everyone feels suitably sorry for me.
Update. Lagniappe's Dad for the win and the Title Of Ammunition Commander. The pips are in the mail :)